Daily Poem: Myth ~ Muriel Rukeyser

September 19, 2018 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

Myth
~ Muriel Rukeyser

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Weekly Insight from the Oracles for September 16, 2018

September 16, 2018 | Filed Under Patreon, Weekly Insight | No Comments

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Weekly Insight from the Oracles for Sept. 16, 2018

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The Gods of Asgard at Mardi Gras, 1895

September 15, 2018 | Filed Under History | No Comments

While searching for images of Norse gods, I found the online archives of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University in New Orleans. The archive contains the artwork of the Mardi Gras floats designed by Carlotta Bonnecaze, who designed the floats for the Krewe of Proteus for 11 years. Her work is astonishing, given that the Krewes at the time were the exclusive province of men; however, she was probably the daughter of one of the Krewe members, so, once again, Anonymous was a woman. (For those who are not familiar with Mardi Gras in New Orleans: the city becomes one large party, and there are parades of all kinds, created and presented by “Krewes”, organizations whose members are sworn to secrecy, and who spend the year creating the floats, costumes, etc. for the parades.)

The 1895 theme for the Krewe of Proteus was “The Gods of Asgard”. Bonnecaze designed 19 floats featuring the Norse deities. A few of her drawings:

Fountain of Urd – The Norns – Carlotta Bonnecaze

 

The Underworld – Carlotta Bonnecaze

 

Ragnarok – The Last Battle – Carlotta Bonnecaze

 

Imagine creating these floats and their special effects! While they wouldn’t have had running water or real fire on the floats, they would use fabric and other materials of the time to create the appearance of water and flame.

Bonnecaze also designed the 1893 floats and costumes, themed for the The Kalevala.

Birth of the harp – Wainamoinen, wisdom singer

 

The Rainbow Maiden

 

Daughters of Pæivæ, the Sun, and of Kun, the Moon

 

The one thing the artwork cannot convey is the size of the floats. The Krewe of Proteus prides itself that it is still using many float chassis from the 1880s. While they were originally drawn by horses, they are now drawn by tractor. You can see photos from the 2010 parade, “The Mythology of Astrology“, in the Krewe’s photo archive. To give you an idea of the scale, here are a few photos of the Aquarius float from 2010:

Krewe of Proteus Aquarius Float 2010

 

Krewe of Proteus Aquarius Float 2010

Krewe of Proteus Aquarius Float 2010

 

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Arts and Crafts: Adventures in Beadwork

September 3, 2018 | Filed Under Uncategorized | No Comments

A friend gave me a significant quantity of hematite beads (yay, hematite!) a while ago. I finally made it to my local bead shop to acquire tools, and spent today making this!

A five-strand bracelet made of hematite beads.

Hematite Bracelet

It’s not perfect, but it’s done, and it’s wearable, so I declare victory!

I love hematite, and really can’t have enough of it on my person. This bracelet feels quite nice against my skin, and fits well with my energies, so I’m quite pleased!

I have much more hematite, and another of the magnetic closure, so I’ll be making a second (and somewhat better) bracelet to match this one. I’m going to wait until next weekend, though—even if I didn’t have to go back to work tomorrow, I need to give my hands some time to recover. Also, crimp bead covers are tiny silver pieces of evil.

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Community Altar for August 2018: Jord

August 22, 2018 | Filed Under Community Altar | No Comments

This month’s Community Altar celebrates Jord, the Earth Goddess, as we celebrate the traditional first harvest. Living in California, there’s always something to harvest (avocados are in season all year, and that alone makes being a California resident A Good Thing!), so “first harvest” doesn’t have quite the same connotation as it does in the Nordic countries, with their limited growing season.

 

Community Altar August 2018 – Jord; Photo by Joey Ivansco.

In the center of the altar is an image I used for Jord, which is actually a topiary sculpture from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Even though it’s not specified as being Jord, the image spoke to me strongly of Jord’s energies of nurturing, growth, and groundedness.

I used this site from the California U-Pick Farms Group  to figure out what the August harvest in California is, and assembled the altar based on what was available at Dan’s Fresh Produce (my local purveyor of organic produce). The fruit offerings are a pear, a peach, and fresh almonds from Dan’s. I made the two rounds of Viking Bread, and harvested the lavender and yarrow from my own yard.

I wrote this prayer to make the offerings.

Hail, Jord!
Earthy Mother,
Luxurious with harvest,
Abundant and fecund!
Fields of soft grasses
Beckon us to your warm embrace
As Sunna sails the skies.
Season after season,
Year upon year,
You bless us with abundance,
You grace us with goodness
Of field and forest,
Providing amply, fully, and freely.
We offer abundant thanks, fully and freely.
We offer gifts of grateful hearts
And contented souls
In thanks for your unending gifts.

May your harvest be abundant and joyous!

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